Therapeutic boarding schools are designed for adolescents — primarily high school students — and combine academic programs with substance abuse rehabilitation. Considered a long-term rehabilitation program, the general length-of-stay is one year. They also feature specialized centers: single gender, faith-based, culturally-focused and more. The goal in any of these is to help young people overcome addiction and lead sober and responsible lives.
Features of Therapeutic Boarding Schools
- Highly structured and focused, therapeutic boarding schools are usually located in rural settings, allowing students the opportunity to recover away from their harmful environments.
- The academic focus allows students the opportunity to succeed where they may have failed before, which fuels self-esteem and self-worth — vital in breaking from the behaviors and peer groups that contributed to substance abuse.
- Treatment programs are tailored to each individual’s addiction issues, but many techniques are focused on emotional growth education to address developmental principles and age-appropriate skills and behaviors.
- Individual, group and/or peer-to-peer therapies are employed, as well as family support groups.
Therapeutic boarding schools are not without their detractors who believe they’re no different than other long-term facilities. However, they have an excellent success rates and very low recidivism — the fact they’re restricted to young adults and employ their own subsequent methodologies for this age group is a huge factor in their success.